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Technology / AI and automation

VODAFONE HIT BY FRAUD, HEAVY OVERSEAS INVESTMENT, BUT IT SEES THE PAYBACK STARTING NEXT YEAR

Vodafone Group Plc, the UK’s biggest mobile phone company, saw continuing growth in its interim results in spite of start-up costs of UKP40m related to overseas ventures, up from UKP19m last year. These start-up charges have hit an expected peak in the half and Vodafone hopes the units will begin to contribute in the full year. Overall pre-tax profits rose 6.8% to UKP186.4m on turnover up 43.8% at UKP560.7m. Capital expenditure and investments amounted to UKP179.0m, UKP115.0m for overseas ventures. In the UK, Vodafone Ltd, increased subscriber numbers by 263,000 to 1.4m in the six months. As a whole the UK saw profit up 14% at UKP199m on turnover up 40% at UKP537m. Vodafone’s UK service providers, Vodac Ltd and Vodacom Ltd, formerly VHL Communications Ltd, increased their subscriber bases by 20%. However the profitability of these companies has been adversely affected by abnormal fraud and bad debt, which Vodafone equates to 1% of group turnover, in addition to the 1% normally provided against bad debt. Churn rates rose to 26.5% from 21.5%, but the effect of more careful screening should reduce this to 24% by the end of the year. Vodafone’s business in the rest of the world saw losses at UKP25m, up from UKP6m last time, on turnover up 200% at UKP24m. Of its overseas associates, Panafon SA of Greece, where Vodafone holds 45%, now has 70,000 subscribers to its Groupe Speciale Mobile digital service, doubled in six months. In South Africa, Vodacom Pty Ltd, where Vodafone has 35%, now has 110,000 subscribers. In September, Vodafone acquired 20% of Astec Communications Ltd, which has over 65,000 subscribers. Vodafone also cut its stake in NordicTel Holdings AB to 12.5%, for a profit of UKP4.3m. An interim of 1.64 pence will be paid, up 20%. Gerry Whent, Vodafone’s chief executive, was buoyant about the full year: Our future is rosy, not Orange! he said.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.